[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Spencer Campbell lacertilian at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 01:33:33 UTC 2010

Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> I think it fair to say that either x is real or else x is not real. I also understand that some people here do not distinguish or care about the difference between reality and ~reality. They have medications for that. :)

I very nearly fall into that category.

On closer inspection, however, I go further than distinguishing
between real and ~real. I say ~real is synonymous with imaginary, but
not with non-existent; there are real things which do not exist, and
imaginary things which do.

The only trouble is, I don't categorize things consistently. Is
consciousness real or imaginary? Does it exist or not? I give
different answers at different times. Perhaps I should define my terms

Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> But mountains do exist, no matter how you describe them. Yes?

In the sense of large mounds of dirt and rocks, yes. I assume so.
Personally I've never stepped on an official mountain, myself.

So: mountains are real and existing. A toothache caused by a cavity is
real, whereas one caused by hypnosis is imaginary. The second
toothache certainly exists, for as long as the hypnosis lasts, but the
existence of the first toothache is highly variable: if you aren't
noticing it, it doesn't exist in that moment.

Mine is caused by clenching my teeth while I sleep. I'm not sure what
that means. Perhaps it's a complex toothache, in the algebraic sense.

Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> You've fallen into the hallucination. :)

The blue pill again! Curse my deuteranomaly!

Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>:
> The word "empirical" needs some disambiguation.
> On the one hand people mean by the word "empirical" something like "objectively existent facts in the world, which any observer can verify". But on the other hand people mean by it something like "facts which exist in the world, including for example the facts of an entity's subjective experience".
> Clearly some things exist in the second sense that do no exist in the first sense. We can consider it an empirical fact that your dentist, for example, considers it true that you have a real toothache. Right?

Well, no, wrong. I haven't told my dentist. And I don't think she's
especially psychic.

For the sake of argument I'm going to pretend I'm in the worldline
where I did, though.

Right. That would invoke the second sense: my dentist's belief is
inaccessible to an outside observer, but perfectly obvious to the
dentist herself. She has empirical evidence for her own belief; that
is, she can experience it whenever she likes.

This is all rather far away from the thread subject. It seems the
original topic died off quite a while ago.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list